The 7 Basic Quality Control Tools

University of Tokyo engineering professor and organizational theorist, Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa, was known for his innovations in the quality initiatives space. He developed the 7 Quality Tools as part of Japan’s post-war industrial training program, with the goal of creating an accessible, user-friendly toolset that enabled workers of all skill levels and backgrounds to implement quality improvements on the job with minimal training.

Today, these 7 management tools for quality control are widely used in Lean, Six Sigma, and other continuous improvement methodologies to quickly find and fix problems.

7 Quality Control Tools Online Video Course

As part of our growing School of Lean library of courses, our 7 Quality Control Tools course, will guide you from the basics to being certification-ready.

Through this course you will learn how to make lasting changes as well as how to decide where to start making improvements.

Benefits of the 7 Quality Control Tools

The 7 basic quality tools provide practitioners with a structured path for using statistical analysis to identify and solve problems that directly impact the quality of your products, processes, and services.

The main benefit offered by the 7QC tools is that they make it easy to make quality control activities a routine part of your continuous improvement practice. Long-term, QC efforts support sustained improvements in customer satisfaction and brand reputation, and cut costs associated with errors, delays, and poor complaint-handling.

    How to Practice the 7 Quality Control Tools

    The 7 Quality Control Tools are a foundational building block for any continuous improvement practice, be it Lean, Six Sigma, or something else.

    Based on our experiences, we’ve found that the following tips can help organizations successfully implement the 7 QC Tools toward improving internal processes:

    • Many of these templates can be used in Excel or with a pencil and paper, though you may want to invest in a software program like SigmaXL, which simplifies the process of working with graphs and other statistical analysis tools.
    • Play around with the different QC tools by creating histograms, Pareto charts, or cause & effect diagrams using your real data. You might start with some of the more “basic graphs” first to get comfortable with the process.
    • You might also try using these 7 QC Tools by working through steps 1 through 4 of the Practical Problem Solving methodology (a course offered in our School of Lean program).

    In our 7 Quality Control Tools Course, we’ll introduce each tool, teach you how to use it, and explain when it makes sense to use each tool to solve a specific type of problem. You can watch the first chapter of this series for free for a basic overview of the 7 Quality Tools and the benefits they offer.

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